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Press Round-Up Apr.20.2007

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Courtesy of Daniel Fung


Louie can't do it all

Roberto Luongo stood on his head through three periods of regulation and into overtime, but for the Canucks to wrap up this series, he's going to need some help from the guys in front of him, writes Ben Kuzma.

"Getting it done will mean two things," writes Kuzma. "Generating something on a listless power play that went 0-for-3 and is ranked last in the postseason at 1-for-25. And not taking Luongo for granted because an often-spectacular 29-save effort was wasted."

Brent Sopel expressed similar thoughts, knowing his team needs to put some pressure on the guy at the other end of the ice.

"We've got to take pucks to the net. It's ugly time and we're not doing that right now," Sopel said.

Salo made the right play

It ended up being the penalty which led to the game-winning goal, but Sami Salo has no second thoughts about intentionally jumping on the ice to prevent a Mike Ribeiro breakaway which led to a too-many-player on the ice penalty to the Canucks, writes Jason Botchford.

"I saw [Mike Ribeiro] was going on a breakaway so I just jumped on the ice," Salo said. "I just felt it was better to take that chance away than to hand them a breakaway."

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault agrees with the play his veteran defenceman made, despite the fact it resulted in a power play goal by the opposition anyways.

"I think [Salo] did the right thing," Vigneault said. "Our penalty kill has been real solid. We'll take our chances with that. It was not Sami's [fault]. It was the other (defencemen) with the puck. They had to make a better play and they didn't make a good play."


No walk in the park

The Canucks still hold a decided advantage in the series headed in to Game 6, but make no mistake; winning is not going to be easy, writes Iain MacIntyre. Although the chances of the Stars managing to pull off an improbably comeback are unlikely, the Canucks know they'll need to put more pressure on the Stars' goalie Marty Turco in Game 6 and make sure they get the job done in Big D.

"It's never easy, especially now because they're going to be jumping and feeling that we're weak," said Canucks' winger Jan Bulis. "But we went there a few days ago and won both games. And they've struggled at home. We've got to take advantage of that and win it in Game 6. Don't even think about Game 7."

Just score

In some ways, the Canucks might be glad to be heading back onto the road, writes Brad Ziemer. Given the Canucks inability to produce offensively on home ice - the Canucks have not scored at GM Place since Henrik Sedin's game-winning overtime goal in game some 126 minutes and 22 seconds ago - Vancouver's goal is simply to score in Game 6.

"It was another tight game, a game that could have gone either way," said Canuck centre Brendan Morrison. "We have to do a better job of getting more pucks to the net. At times, we are having a lot of zone time but we are refusing to get pucks to the net. I think that's one thing we can do better."

And while the team is undoubtedly disappointed not being able to close out the series on home ice in front of the GM Place faithful, the Canucks realize they can't get down on themselves and need to make sure they get the job done in Game 6.

"It was disappointing, but it's over with now and we have to regroup and go back to Dallas and get it done, that's it," said [Canucks goalie Roberto] Luongo. "It's a seven-game series and you have to win four. That's the way it is. In a nice world we would have won [Game 5], but it didn't happen so we just have to go back and do it."

That's the way the Cookie crumbles

Unfortunately for Canuck fans, it does not appear Matt Cooke will be available for the Canucks for the remainder of this series, reports Elliott Pap. Cooke, who hasn't skated since getting injured in Game 1, had his status downgraded from day-to-day to week-to-week.

"Matt is not day-to-day anymore," announced Canuck head coach Alain Vigneault at the morning skate Thursday. "He's either week-to-week, or week-to-day, or day-to-week. Or whatever you want to call it. But he's past the day-to-day stage now."


Missed empty netter provides motivation

For a brief moment in Game 5 it looked as if the game, and the series, would come down to a flukey goal by the Canucks, writes Mike Heika. With the Stars controlling the puck on a delayed penalty to Vancouver, Loui Eriksson flung a hard pass across the ice which bounced off the boards and slowly towards the empty Dallas cage.

"From where we were, it looked like it was going in," Morrow said. "It looked like it was in slow motion. We were dying."

Luckily for the Stars, play turned out to be harmless and the Stars gained a momentum surge which carried them to a victory. And while the play which ended up turning the game around for the Stars might have been a flukey one, there was nothing flukey about their overtime win says the Stars captain.

"As hard as we've worked, we just believed that it would happen," Morrow said. "That power play in overtime wasn't a fluke, we forced them to make a mistake. We earned our breaks tonight."

Captain comes through in clutch

On a team that's supposedly laden with veteran leadership, the likes of Jeff Halpern, Mattias Norstrom, Stu Barnes, and Mike Modano, it took the Stars' 28-year old first year captain to grab his team by the collar and help his team survive for at least one more day, writes Jean-Jacques Taylor.

"Brendan Morrow, in his first season as the Stars' captain, showed why Doug Armstrong made him captain this off-season," writes Taylor. "[He] publicly challenged his teammates before Game 5. Then he made the biggest play of his career with a power-play goal in overtime that helped the Stars beat Vancouver, 1-0, and extend his Western Conference quarterfinal series at least one more game."

In fact, the momentum shift coming from that goal was so huge that the Stars might even have the advantage now in the series, particularly since the pressure is off the Stars to some extent.

"Think about it. The Stars said they liked the idea of starting a series on the road because it meant Vancouver had all the pressure. All the Stars needed to do was win a game, get a split and get back to Dallas," writes Taylor. "Of course, when they returned to Dallas, the Stars felt pressure to seize control of the series and promptly lost both games, giving Vancouver a commanding lead. At least it took the pressure off the Stars, because no one outside of their locker room gave them a shot to win. The pressure remains on Vancouver to win the series. The Stars have the Canucks right where they want them."


Stars Captain not buying excuses

Leading up to Game 5, consensus was the series had been tight; the Stars were working hard, but just not getting the bounces. Brendan Morrow wasn't buying any of that, writes Jim Reeves.

"There were those in the Stars' lockerroom who had argued that the Stars had found themselves in a 3-1 hole through no lack of effort," writes Reeves. "Morrow wasn't buying that contention and didn't mind saying so. After the two losses on home ice, he had verbally challenged every Stars player to become more involved in the series. This, he said, isn't a series for the meek and the timid."

Morrow, who provided the game-winning heroics in overtime in Game 5, didn't sugarcoat his words although he backed off from accusing his team of being lackadaisical during the first four games of the series.

"What I meant was that our top players had to buy into getting into the hard areas, getting traffic in front," Morrow said after his game-winner snapped a 146-minute Stars scoreless streak in overtime, dating back to last year. "(Luongo's) going to stop what he sees, just like Marty (Turco) does. I just meant that everybody had to get in and get their noses dirty and get to the front of the net and grind those rebounds and get those ugly goals."

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